“Remember the times / Do you, do you, do you, do you, do you / Remember the times / In the park, on the beach / Remember the times / You and me in Spain / Remember the times / What about, what about.” The voice of Michael Jackson, by turns velvety and sweet, then rhythmic and dance-like, hovered, the beat of music unheard and always virtuoso-above 500 (and more) guests on the opening night of the exhibition Michael Jackson: On the Wall , Wednesday, November 21, in the galerie courbe of the Grand Palais. Plugs at the entrance just at the end of the exhibition already crowded (2291 people received in the evening), with a gauge strict not-to-exceed for safety issues. Control of influences and a call for compassion, therefore, to unhook the black strap in the paper which opens this Hall of Fame of an evening.

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Apart from the “dinner jacket” in black leather-studded spoons, forks and knives, few relics of Michael Jackson in the expo. The fans are expected at the “museum shop”. VD

Back in 1991 and this years glittering where The King of Pop was screaming, the crowds, passing out fans, simmer the censors by his actions too much sex, dance all over the world? Not really, given the lack of strong sequins cascading, costumes crazy, epaulettes on jackets military operetta, sauerkraut curly, blonde and full of fireworks for women, blow drying, bizarre mid-short mid-long for men, short film. Other times, other manners.

An exhibit more referential and conceptual that fetish

The majority of these privileged guests to immerse themselves in the “fever MJ” by DJ Reverend P, offered by Sony, and the playlist “soul MJ” at the cocktail party, were often of happy toddlers at the time of Thriller (1982), the sixth studio album of the artist co-produced by Quincy Jones at Epic Records, following the commercial success and critical of the album Off the Wall (1979).

At first glance, few witnesses of the era of “the most famous clip of all time,” directed by John Landis, the film director in 1981 of the Werewolf of London with Vincent Price voice-over. It is true that the clip, first broadcast on December 2, 1983 on MTV, with his Michael bright youth red leather, teeth very white and the skin is still black, is not in the exhibition in the Grand Palais, more referential and conceptual understanding of fetish (tribute expressionist late, Michael Jackson (Thriller) , oil on canvas painting by Dawn Mellor, 2007). There is still the white glove printed Thriller , and an invitation to the american Museum of natural history, February 7, 1984 .

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The evening was scheduled from 21h for people to dance.

Eight young dancers were expected to dance with the guests and put a little atmosphere in the evening and on the dance floor to celebrate in a cheerful way the exposure and the character of MJ”. Part Art deco is gorgeous, maybe too much, if the top of the ceiling as the sound and the skin light of the evening Square, the service provider Graphics light from the Great Palace, seemed like distant clouds, neo-pop, pink shocking old soap operas. The music went well above the heads of the guests, like a ghost, forgotten by Ghostbusters , the film to Ivan Reitman, who made Sigourney Weaver a beautiful witch, devilishly sexy all in lamé gold (1984).

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Few followers of a “revival” of the Thriller Dance and his zombies to the tics and déhanchés perfectly choreographed. Question of talent, too. It is horribly difficult! In the exhibition in the Grand Palais, the video parody of Thriller, Michael Jackson, Hoxton Hall , 2002, of the performance-british Monster Chetwynd is nice, but light years away from the perfection furious Michael “himself”.

The contagion of the dance was not operating spontaneously in this assembly talkative, often dressed in black, like in any biennial of contemporary art that is respected. The few specimens eccentrics – the choreographer François Chaignaud and the artist Ninon Laisné, which close the exhibition, involving MJ and a Werther of Jules Massenet transgender in their Mourn, O Nature! , 2018 – appeared to be two aliens fall out of the sky. A distant sky, and nicely decadent that makes you dream, believe in the royals and in his games, eccentricities, delusions, and keeps a certain innocence.

“King (A portrait of Michael Jackson)”, 2005, video installation with 16 channels, of about 42 minutes, from the artist’s south african Candice Breitz © Adagp, Paris 2018 Candice Breitz

Among the forty artists who celebrate the echo of Michael Jackson on our world anxiety and on their practices, which are often terribly conceptual, we saw Jean-Luc Blanc ( The Cry , 2018, tondo, which materializes the transformation of the star in zombie); Anne stock Exchange ( Hidden Mag , 2015, artist book, that she realized by listening to Thriller and Bad ); the artist, a visual artist, dancer and choreographer Raphaëlle Delaunay, and actor Jacques Gamblin, incognito under his wool cap Urban Outfitters ( Via , 2018, video of 3 minutes and 33 seconds, which compares the moves of MJ and the classical technique, with the baroque music of the Walk for the ceremony of the Turks of Lully); the Californian Michael Gittes ( Masters at work , 2017, video of 2 minutes and 28 seconds mixing Smooth Criminal , 1988, MJ and Fly me to the moon of Sinatra).

Wall of masks ultrakitsch and images from the archives

Very noticed for his hanging, while caches and overlays, the american photographer Todd Gray, a 64-year-old veteran enjoyed a die-hard fan like Jeremiah, 36 years old. Todd Gray worked with Michael Jackson, between 1979 and 1983, and draws a lesson dark for today ( Exquisite terror in the Mangrove , 2014, that mixes vintage star, pictures documentaries in Ghana, photos of its fans and images of the cosmos). Echo flattering for the Romanian artist Dan Mihaltianu that evokes The Last Days of Michael Jackson in Bucharest , 1992, by his wall of masks ultrakitsch distributed at the concert of MJ in Bucharest October 1, 1992. In front of all these looks made-up, the archive images that are filming the fans of this totalitarian regime in search of the escape via the megastar are the only true moment of concert returned as is in the exhibition in the Grand Palais.

Among the well-known faces of the evening, that of the actor Patrick Bouchitey. VD

only One to be missing and everything is depopulated?

No Candice Breitz, great artist of south africa including the great video of 42 minutes is filming a group of european fans singing a cappella and dancing in a thousand ways crazy the entirety of the album Thriller (closures of onlookers and trained, such as in karaoke).

Not to David LaChapelle, the play-boy of the “eighties” in which the very large formats, especially the one made during the lifetime of the artist, An Illuminating Path , 1998, plays, finally, the machines go back in time. It reminds us of the strength senseless of this phenomenon pop that transcended all social classes that America is still black or white, was the Empowerment of the black star resulting in its global success to its community.

No Jeff Koons or porcelain via Michael Jackson and Mr Bubbles , a work of art, very contemporary, nor in flesh and bone. We won’t know if he knows how to dance!

Yamil Le Parc, artist, musician and son of Julio Le Parc. VD

Question of pedigree? In the audience one evening replica, some people of discipline, the world of art in a broad sense, museums, curators, artists, contemporary art, photographers, musicians, filmmakers, actors and comedians, and dancers.

In the dark mass of the city dwellers to the French actresses Bérénice Bejo, and Audrey Fleurot, actor Stephen Chatilliez, the hallucinated Patrick Bouchitey, Joyce Jonathan, Christian Malazai, the beautiful musician Marco Prince, the Argentine Paris Yamil Le Parc, artist, musician and son of Julio Le Parc, photographer, and aesthete Ali Mahdavi, the French rapper Booba, DJ Thibaud Berland (Breakbot), director Fred Cavaye, the comic Novel Frayssinnet, the musician and composer of electronic music, Gesaffelstein, the singer Nili Hadida (Lilly Wood and the Prick), the DJ Irfane (Khan Acio), the singer, Inna Modja, the star dancer of the Opéra de Paris Karl Paquette…

And a certain JR, hat and dark glasses, as in his exhibition, which proved a massive hit at the MEP (Maison européenne de la photographie).

– Side policy makers, business patrons, those in charge of policy, ministry of Culture and Communication, practices of ministry near the Grand Palace, the city Hall of Paris. And English came with the National Portrait Gallery, the artists of the exhibition and their guests. All would have been able to (had to?) lend themselves to the Moon Walk , 2018, filmed by Jérôme Bel, 6 minutes and 21 seconds of frank gaiety.

TO SEE. “Michael Jackson: On the Wall” at the Grand Palais, Gallery south-east, until February 14, 2019. Commissioners Dr Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery, London with Lucy Dahlsen, associate curator. Commissioner to the Grand Palace, Vanessa Desclaux. Scenography, Agence Clémence Farrell.

Opening hours Thursday to Monday, from 10 h to 20h. On Wednesday, from 10 am to 22 h. Closed on Tuesdays.

TO READ. “Michael Jackson: On the Wall”, catalogue cover silver where throne the great portrait of MJ by Kehinde Wiley, co-published by The National Portrait Gallery and Nmr (35€).